The Number of Hungry Idaho Kids Grows


More than 66,000 of Idaho's children aren't sure where their next meal will come from, that's the latest statistic from the Idaho Foodbank.

The scientific term is "food insecurity," or risk of hunger, which exists when people lack sustainable physical or economic access to enough safe, nutritious and socially acceptable food for healthy and productive lives.

The good news is the percentage of the state's children who aren't sure of their food supply dropped to 16.3 percent (compared to last year's 16.6 percent).

The bad news is that the actual number of food-insecure children climbed to 66,628 compared to the last study, which indicated 65,517.

Right now, Idaho ranks as the 33rd worst state for childhood food insecurity. Nationwide, it's estimated that close to 14 million children could go to bed hungry tonight.

The Idaho Foodbank continues to fight hunger, particularly with children. In the last fiscal year, the Foodbank and its network of partner delivered nearly 9 million pounds of food to Idaho families, and the Mobile Pantry Program delivered more than 2 million pounds of food directly to 37 communities that can't support pantries of their own. When the new school year begins in late August, about 2,000 children will be enrolled in the Backpack Program, which provides nutritious food for kids over weekends.

This summer, the Foodbank's Picnic in the Park is expected to serve 40,000 free lunches to Boise children.